Solo travel for mature singles
A solo journey presents opportunities that might not be present when in a couple or with a group of friends. Solo travel leaves plenty of space to be spontaneous, to deviate from the itinerary when presented with an opportunity previously not considered. Another advantage is all the other solo travellers you can meet - people with similar interests who can become good friends. Some travellers love the big open-ended journey, while others may have only a short break. There are a number of popular trends emerging in solo travel for those with a little expedition credibility under the belt.
As yoga has become mainstream, there are a huge number of yoga breaks on offer all around the world. A traveller who is flexible in every way could go yoga hopping from one country to another, pursuing fitness while experiencing a range of cultures. Then there are the serious wellness retreats where diet and exercise are moderated, possibly to enable the guest to achieve a goal in terms of weight or fitness that is stipulated at the start. Some health retreats revolve around holistic treatments such as reiki or massage and attempt to imbue the guest with a sense of peace. In countries where the idea of wellness is taken very seriously, such as Germany, a traveller could move from one top spa to another. Many German spa resorts are in surroundings that encourage treatments such as mud baths and being steamed with hay in a Kraxen stove to be taken in combination with robust outdoor activities such as hiking.
A big part of travel is immersion in the food of another country. Why not take this a step further and learn how to cook the dishes that are part of the cultural experience? Cooking courses not only give insights into the local cuisine but are also fun and a chance to get to know other people who have a similar interest in preparing good food. Countries as diverse as India and France offer opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of local culture by preparing its favourite dishes. Italy, a country where nothing but the best is tolerated when it comes to eating, can be explored by cooking courses in areas such as Puglia, Tuscany and Umbria, where local sights can be combined with learning how to prepare regional specialties. Holidays based around cooking can be booked before departure; alternatively, one-day courses can generally be sourced fairly easily once you have arrived. New friends can be made quickly over a chopping board.
We reach a point where we have outgrown the desire to stay in hostels or be crammed into a rickety bus that dates from 1956; however, independent travel can still be fun. In countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia, there is a range of accommodation for single travellers that offers a lot more comfort than might be utilised by a gap year student but is not in the five-star hotel range. Some hoteliers even target mid-range travellers specifically, with accommodation that offers core facilities, attractive rooms and sometimes even pools, without the massive infrastructure of a large hotel. South-east Asian countries are easy to move about, with cheap flights on Air Asia and good - or in the case of Cambodia - improving road networks. Hiring your own driver for what would be a moderate fee in western countries is also possible. Most south-east Asian countries offer well-upholstered rides in minivans or private buses; in addition, women can generally feel safe when making solo journeys here.